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Featured Events

All events included with admission to Discovery Center unless otherwise noted. General admission: $8 adults; $8 children ages 2-17; free to Discovery Center Members and children age 1 and younger.


Girls Science Summit: Three Cheers for Science!

Friday, September 11; 7:00 pm; Admission is $10; advance registration required

Saturday, September 12; 8:30 am - 3:00 pm; admission is $25/kids & $10/adults; lunch provided;advance registration required

Girls Science Summit celebrates women in science and technology careers and endeavors to inspire girls in 1st-8th grade to achieve their dreams. Enjoy a panel discussion on Friday, September 11 with representatives from Science Cheerleader, an organization of formerprofessional cheerleaders who have moved on to be powerhouses in science, technology, engineering and math careers. The panel will include female scientists and engineers as well as a female professional football player. On Saturday we will also offer performances by collegiate cheerleaders,

live science demonstrations, cheer clinics with local cheerleaders, 

hands-on experiments with engineers and scientists, and so much girl power it will blow you mind! Call 815-963-6769 to register. Sponsored in part by the Rockford Cosmopolitan Club and Viking Chemical.



Worldwide Day of Play

Sunday, September 13; 11:00 a.m. –3:00 p.m.

This is the official day to turn off the TV, unplug from hand-held devices, get off the couch, and play! Make your feet happy on our illuminated floor space; race your friend around our light-up table; and get a move on in the outdoor science park! Included with Discovery Center admission. Sponsored in part by Greenlee, A Textron Company; and Thermo Fisher Scientific.


Build-It Bonanza

Saturday, September 26; 10:00am -4:30pm

Sunday, September 27; 10:00am -4:30pm

Foam blocks, cardboard and LEGOs are only the beginning as you build it bigger in Discovery Center’s special exhibition, Build It! Make It! Test the strength of paper dowels and assemble a sculpture from straws! Step into the “Make It” space and fabricate what you can imagine using recycled materials, or try your hand at carving plastic and foam. Real Tools! Real Materials! Real Fun! Hands of all sizes are welcome in this amazing and innovative space! Included with Discovery Center and Build It! Make It! admission.


Mornings of Fun for Everyone

Saturday, October 10; 9:00 am - 10:00 am

We invite children with disabilities and their immediate families to experience Discovery Center’s multi-sensory exhibits and activities free of charge before the museum opens to the general public. A healthy snack will be served at 10:00 a.m. and families are welcome to stay and play after the museum opens to the public. Advanced registration is required to receive free admission. Call 815-972-2839 or e-mail sues@discoverycentermuseum.org.


Spooky Science

Friday, October 30; 6:00–9:00 p.m.

$3 members; $9 public.

Come in costume for this non-scary night of Halloween fun. Bring your Trick-or-Treat bag and grab gobs of goodies in our exhibit spaces. Plus concoct glowing slime, experiment under black light, and make monstrous crafts! Network with eminent inventors and distinguished scientists who also happen to be dead. Pick up a prize from Alfred Nobel, grab Avogadro’s number, and enjoy some hair-raising experiences with Professor Van de Graaff! Come in costume! Grownups can play too! Sponsored in part by Powmet, Inc.; Greenlee, A Textron Company; and OSF Health Care.


Smashing Pumpkins

Sunday, November 8; 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Calling all jack-o-lanterns! We’ll employ our giant trebuchet to transform your pumpkin porch décor into a parking lot projectile or use it to buttress a citadel of squash!  Join the fun and create a catapult, celebrate the harvest, and have a smashing good time. Included with Discovery Center admission. Sponsored in part by Thermo Fisher Scientific.



Kinetic King

Saturday, November 21; 10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Witness the assemblage and launch of a room-sized cascading cartwheeling sculpture formed from gazillions of popsicle sticks, plastic cups, and assorted odds and ends.  Newton’s Laws of motion go bananas with these intertwining constructions that rely on gravity and elastic potential energy to keep them springing and tumbling along their entire lengths. Kinetic King Tim Fort, as seen on America’s Got Talent, holds three Guinness World Record certificates for his cavorting chain reactions. Tim will be constructing all morning with a “detonation” at 12:00 p.m., then constructing again with a detonation at 4:00 p.m. Included with Discovery Center and Build It! Make It! admission.



Science Cornucopia

Friday and Saturday, November 27–28; 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Turn cranberries into chemistry, engage in fruitcake physics, and find out what happens to whipped cream when it’s dropped in liquid nitrogen. Bring the family and kick off the holiday season with extraordinary demos and festive arts and crafts. Included with Discovery Center admission.


Minecraft Unplugged

Sunday, December 6; 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Assemble cubelets, construct a village out of newspaper, get your hands on real rocks and minerals, make a torch that lights up, blow away zombies, and dabble in pixel art. Included with Discovery Center and Build It! Make It! admission.


Holiday Hoopla

Monday-Wednesday, December 21-23 & December 28-30; 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Deck the halls with boughs of jolly as we merge hands-on arts and crafts with amazing math. Vote for your favorite cookie, fashion an ornament, construct a colorful kaleidoscope, and find the hidden shapes. Included with Discovery Center admission.


Countdown to Fun!
Thursday, December 31; 12:30–4:30 p.m.

Design a party hat, create a noisemaker, and get showered with confetti as we count down to midnight each hour. Ring in the New Year with this delightful blend of fun, art, and music from Kantorei, the singing boys of Rockford. Included with Discovery Center admission.


Fasten-nating Farewell

Sunday, January 3; 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Put together one more project on this final day of Build It! Make It! Assemble unusual materials into a mobile, construct a feeder for feathered friends, make a waterproof wallet, or notch together a super structure.  When day is done, Build It! Make It! goes bye-bye.  Included with Discovery Center and Build It! Make It! admission.

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